Caring for your furnace can help quite a bit in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and critical, ways to maintain your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a number of unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills month after month.
So what goes in to deciding when you should change your furnace filter?
- Type of filter: the two most common filter sizes are 1 inch and 3 inch filters. 1 inch filters usually need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters ought to be replaced every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to change your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If a family member deals with allergies or asthma, think about changing your home’s air filter more regularly to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will change depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel close to the bottom of your furnace to uncover an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you will find your furnace filter resting on two metal brackets.
- There will be a little space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.